On so-called ‘representative function’ of language in psycholinguistiс perspective
Some different particular functions are attributed: to utterances (parole – following Saussure’s terminology), to linguistic system (langue, which is the base for generating utterances) and to language (langage) conceived as a social event (the function of uniting members of the community and storing up their culture). The types of utterance functions are differentiated to a great extent; the main of them are: information, pressure on hearer, creation of state of affairs. The article presents a proposal of a set of 12 types of utterance functions. The representative function (the representation of the world in language) was not up till now clearly defined in linguistics. This function should be referred to the linguistic system or rather – strictly speaking – to the lexicon, which is a mental representation of the world and contains the knowledge of entities and their relations. Utterances do not represent the world directly: they always refer to world via the medium who is a speaker, therefore they can be true or false. It seems, the reality of the existence of mental lexicon in human mind has been confirmed by psycholinguistic research.